Con­nec­tions cel­e­brate shared win

Otago Daily Times - - RACING & SPORTS DRAWS - JONNY TURNER in Christchurch

SPOILS from the group 2 Cou­p­land’s Bak­eries Mile were split be­tween the North and South Is­lands when Son Of Ma­her and Shadows Cast dead­heated in the Ric­car­ton fea­ture yes­ter­day.

Rider Chris John­son weaved his renowned magic to ex­tri­cate Son Of Ma­her from a pocket and hit the lead in the late stages of the 1600m event be­fore Shadows Cast and Alysha Col­lett fought back tena­ciously as the win­ning post loomed.

Af­ter a tense wait, Ric­car­ton judge Mark Gal­lagher an­nounced he could not split the Michael and Matthew Pit­mantrained Son Of Ma­her and the Shadows Cast trained by Mark Ou­laghan.

That did not faze either the own­ers or train­ers in­volved who em­braced each other with ju­bi­la­tion over their shared vic­tory.

Son Of Ma­her added to the al­ready bril­liant New Zealand Cup week the Pit­man sta­ble and Chris John­son are en­joy­ing.

John­son won four races on day one of the car­ni­val, while the Pit­man sta­ble won three.

The train­ers and jockey com­bined to made it two wins in five days when the speedy Savvy Coup backed up her im­pres­sive vic­tory on Satur­day to again score de­ci­sively yes­ter­day.

The Pit­mans also won with Pip­i­ana, who won race 1 for rider Sam Weatherly.

Weatherly went on to match John­son and ride a tre­ble of win­ners yes­ter­day by win­ning with the Terri Rae trained Kolonel Kev and the Wayne Hil­lis trained Noth­ing Triv­ial.

John­son’s other win­ner yes­ter­day came with the Stephen Blair Edie­trained Nesta.

The River­ton horse­man re­warded the horse’s pa­tient own­ers who went into the event hav­ing watched their horse go win­less in 22 starts for six dif­fer­ent train­ers.

Pa­tience of a dif­fer­ent kind paid off for Win­ga­tui jockey Corey Camp­bell yes­ter­day.

The rider’s rapid ca­reer rise con­tin­ued when he won his first race at a New Zealand Cup car­ni­val aboard Lochan Ora.

Camp­bell, who is in red­hot form hav­ing bagged his first tre­ble at Win­ga­tui on Mel­bourne Cup day, pro­duced a pa­tient ride af­ter the Kelvin Tyler­trained gal­loper was held up and des­per­ate for rac­ing room for the much of the home straight.

‘‘I was a bit wor­ried half­way down the straight when he couldn’t get the gap,’’ Camp­bell said.

‘‘But the horse has got that re­ally high turn of foot so if you get him to re­lax he will fin­ish over the top of most horses.’’

Camp­bell de­scribed his first New Zealand Cup week vic­tory as a huge thrill.

Lochan Ora was per­fectly weighted car­ry­ing 50kg courtesy of the ap­pren­tice’s 3kg claim.

Run­ner­up Nashville, who drifted well back dur­ing the race, was back to his best in his first Ric­car­ton start since the Grand Na­tional Car­ni­val.

Favourite Pa­trick Erin was brave in third, but his 7.5kg weight dis­ad­van­tage over Lochan Ora and the he gave away to Nashville looked telling at the fin­ish.

GRIT, de­ter­mi­na­tion and ten­der lov­ing care were be­hind Car­ni­val’s win in the group 3 Ste­wards Hand­i­cap at Ric­car­ton yes­ter­day.

The pro­gres­sive Kevin and Pam Hughes­trained mare won the sprint­ing fea­ture with a most de­ter­mined fin­ish to over­haul leader Pass­ing Shot in the late stages of the time­honoured 1200m event.

While on the track she is as gritty and strong­willed as any horse rac­ing at New Zealand Cup week, away from the races she is as quiet as a lamb, Kevin Hughes said.

‘‘That is just her, yet she walks around like a kid’s pony.

‘‘But in her work she will just go with the fastest thing go­ing. She won’t lay down’’

So de­ter­mined is the mare, raced by prom­i­nent own­ers Don and Dame Wendy Pye, that even in the very early stages of the ca­reer she was used as a track­work mate for the Hughes sta­ble’s re­cently re­tired top­class sprinter Maybe Mi­ami.

As con­trast­ing as Car­ni­val’s be­hav­iour is on and off the track, so too are her legs.

Car­ni­val rel­ishes hard rac­ing sur­faces but, at the same time, Hughes has to wrap the horse in cot­ton wool to avoid sore­ness is­sues that plagued her dam, the St Peters­burg mare Si­nalot.

‘‘I have al­ways been care­ful with her be­cause Wendy said they had prob­lems with her legs, so I have al­ways tried to keep her off her legs,’’ he said.

‘‘So with her, I have al­ways had her wrapped up.’’

Car­ni­val faced a de­cent step up in class in yes­ter­day’s race from her pre­vi­ous rac­ing, but han­dled it with ease.

Hughes is now eye­ing up the ul­ti­mate step up in class for the horse’s next long­term goal.

Carini­val will be aimed at one of New Zealand’s pre­mier sprints, the Tele­graph, at Tren­tham in late Jan­uary, Hughes said.

Ear­lier on yes­ter­day’s Ric­car­ton pro­gramme, con­sis­tent mare Heni was a bril­liant win­ner of the group 2 Can­ter­bury Breeders’ Stakes.

Jockey Rosie My­ers gave the Mike Bres­lin­trained mare a per­fect run in the one­one be­fore she let down ex­plo­sively to claim the 1400m fil­lies and mares’ fea­ture.

‘‘We got a pretty good trip in tran­sit, she jumped good, put her­self in the race and was strong to the line,’’ My­ers said.

Heni was a brave third in last year’s race be­hind the ill­fated First Serve.

Yes­ter­day’s vic­tory added to the horse’s bril­liant record on the Ric­car­ton track, which now stands at 12 starts for five wins and five plac­ings.


Noth­ing in it . . . Son Of Ma­her (outer) and Shadows Cast can­not be sep­a­rated at the end of yes­ter­day’s group 2 Cou­p­land’s Bak­eries Mile at Ric­car­ton. Boots N All, Watch This Space (ob­scured) and Beefeater fol­low.

Kevin Hughes

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